In zip locks and then thrown into a bin until they were needed.
Here they are now. Since I don't have many hanks of seed beads I just put them into one container. As I am organizing I am sure I will find more. This little bead box is full.
Want to see how Japanese beads come in bulk?
Beading Tips for the Non-Beading Knitter #3: Dealing with them pesky hanks.
The hank of beads.
Most hanks are Czech beads, why...because the Japanese don't see the sense in hiring people to string them on to string. Seriously, bead hanks are done by hand still, in really big bead spinners.
The quality of beads is usually very good but you will get your odd looking bead now and then and beads with too small holes. So small you can't get a beading needle through it and that says a lot.
Most instructions will tell you to pull one of the strands of beads near the knot until the string comes free. Now some cases this is rather easy in others...well be prepared for flying beads.
When you pull the string from the knot you weaken the structure of the knot; at some point the other strands are going to come out--usually when you are lifting the strand to move them. (Getting beads out of a keyboard is not fun and the Geek Squad at Best Buys will give you strange looks, I have been informed.)
How I deal with Hanks:
Step 1: Use a beading surface like velux (what I take my photos on- from Jane's Fiber and Beads under $2), if anything to cover your keyboard. Your family will thank you so they are not munching on beads that find their way from the dining room table to the dining room plate.
Step 2: Using a needle (depending on if you are beading or knitting) run it through about a needle's length of beads.
Step 3: Carefully, with some sharp pointed scissors cut the string holding the beads. I usually cut it right where the beads start on the hank.
Step 4: Slip the beads off the hank string. Now you have an open ending to work from.
Because I don't pull the string out the knot stays together, when you finish the strand cut the loose thread.
For bead knitting, invest in a big eye needle. The ones I am currently using I got from my friend Cindy's shop. She also carries some bead knitting books and the perle cotton. Thread the perle through the eye which runs the length of the needle and away you go. If you run into beads that don't want to go on don't force them or pull and tug on the needle, skip that bead and go on. Most likely the hole is too small.
Using a needle to string the beads from the hank to the knitting yarn/thread is faster than tying a knot small enough for the beads to slid over but secure enough so they don't slide apart.